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Tag Archives: Socialism

Reflections on the Leiter-Caplan Debate

It was a pleasure debating Brian Leiter last week.  The resolution, to repeat: “Social democracy is preferable to market capitalism, but ultimately America will need to move towards a socialist system.” Here are some thoughts I failed to fully articulate at the live event.  As always, I’m happy to publish any reply my opponent wishes to compose. 1. To his credit, Leiter expressed zero sympathy for any actual socialist regime.  He even condemned Cuba; good for him. ...

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The Leiter-Caplan Socialism Debate

Last night, I debated the University of Chicago’s Brian Leiter on “Capitalism, Social Democracy, and Socialism” at the University of Wisconsin.   Leiter wrote the precise resolution: “Social democracy is preferable to market capitalism, but ultimately America will need to move towards a socialist system.” Here’s my opening statement; I’ve debated Elizabeth Bruenig and John Marsh on this general topic before. All First World countries are already social democracies. ...

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Socialism and Gold

Most people assume that the central bank prints money when it buys bonds. They further assume that this increase in the quantity of money causes an increase in the general price level. And, this leads them to assume that the value of the money is 1 / P (P is the general price level). Therefore, when the central bank prints money to buy bonds, it is diluting the value of the money held by everyone—in proportion to the amount printed divided by the total amount in circulation. This is not even...

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Tales of Socialism

I’m guessing that a lot of young people in America have not heard some of the true tales of socialism that people around my age heard as adults. So it’s worth telling them. Here are four stories, not chronological but in order of my certainty. The first two I am pretty much certain of. The last two I kind of remember. Tale #1: Russian President Boris Yeltsin visiting a U.S. supermarket in Clear Lake, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Shoppers and employees stopped him to...

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Abba Lerner’s Thoughts on Consumer Sovereignty

One of my favorite economists on the left was the late Abba Lerner. In my biography of him for The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, I wrote: Abba Lerner was the Milton Friedman of the left. Like Friedman, Lerner was a brilliant expositor of economics who was able to make complex concepts crystal clear. Lerner was also an unusual kind of socialist: he hated government power over people’s lives. Like Friedman, he praised private enterprise on the ground that...

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You’re All A Bunch of Socialists

A fun figure from Tetlock et al.’s “The Psychology of the Unthinkable.”  Possible level of outrage ranges from 1-7, 7 being highest. Background: Participants were told that the goal of the study was to explore the attitudes that Americans have about what people should be allowed to buy and sell in competitive market transactions: Imagine that you had the power to judge the permissibility and morality of each transaction listed below. Would you allow people to enter...

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Is that “Real” Socialism? It’s Your Dime Interview With José Niño

José Niño was born in Venezuela and his family has experienced the impacts of socialism first hand. But was it “real socialism?”On this episode of It’s Your Dime, José and host Mike Maharrey talk about it.José had the good fortune of leaving Venezuela before it descended into chaos. After reading the tea leaves and realizing that the country was heading down the path of political turmoil, José’s parents brought his family to the US in search of better opportunities.José is a long-time...

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Socialism Vs Capitalism

Mike Maloney is a collector. He collects fine art, cars, books, music, gold, silver…and MEMES. Enjoy this ‘first in series’ video where Mike gives you a look at his collection of memes that highlight the stark differences between socialism and capitalism. Post Views: 6

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Self-interest and Capitalism Are Not Synonymous

“I am in favor of self-interest and thus of capitalism. It follows that I may legitimately judge any public policy according to whether or not it furthers my personal interest.” This is a paraphrase of what an intelligent Twitter correspondent of mine seems to believe. Although he does know something about business and economics, he is completely wrong on that point. It is not because one favors self-interest that one must support capitalism. (I take capitalism in the...

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